Runnin' the ball is like makin' romance.
- Walter Payton, NFL running back, deceased
Friday, October 24, 2014
It is only five city blocks from the hotel bar to his apartment. The jolly jaunt he calls it. He renditions "Singin' in the Rain" for all of the first block and most of the next. The sidewalk fully empty at this hour. A taxi and two autos pass but it's doubtful they take note of his exuberant and slightly awkward performance. The office buildings are empty and black. The street lamps burn, the traffic signals blink and shine their colors, but it's almost three in the morning. No one's watching.
Except for the woman. She's watching. She's been watching. Since the the hotel bar, snuggled in the corner booth. Since they pushed out the hotel doors together. Past the valet attendants and almost onto the street. Amused at first, when he dropped her hand and broke into dance and song. Then - why is he over there and over there and now over there instead of over here? But, she kept on walking. And in the direction he pointed her in. That's all they need do. Ha! He jumps in and out of a new spin. A slip, but only slightly. He wishes the sky would open. Just for him and her. A deluge even. He left the umbrella at home tonight but still.
He skips to a stop beside her. A bit out of breath. She doesn't question the opening, pressing tightly against him. Pulling a free arm into hers. Whispering. It feels to the man like he just got rushed. Which he did. It causes him to stagger. Almost a stumble. The sudden weight added to his person applying a different tension to his feet, requiring he calculate and adjust, requiring he concentrate to regain balance. Requiring he come out of his reverie. It wouldn't do to fall, or even stumble, in front of the woman. That wouldn't do at all. After restoring order, he pulls her in tighter. One face upon the other. His smiling - Darling! He slows them down to little more than a plod and she easily falls into step. Like a practiced partner.
So they walk. Wrapped as lovers. Her high heels scoffing pavement seems echo into perpetuity. He loves that sound! Considers it enthralling. He gathers her tighter to him. Inhales with force. Again. She smells like a woman thinks a man would want her to smell. He notes it as the first deception. It is not the first. He knows that. But he's not in the mood to quibble. It's the first notable deception. Distracted, he laughs at the whatever she is going on about. Loudly. Recklessly. As if they are the only two people alive. He feels lighter on his feet. Steadier. It is necessary to have a beginning point, he thinks. He wonders how many more deceptions she'll reveal before he starts removing her clothes. He will scrutinize her more fully then. More deliberately. She'll get his full attention then. He can get the all of it then. For now, he is contented to walk arm in arm, listen to the singing.